365 days without a drink.
What has changed?
All of the reasons to drink are still there. It tastes good. It goes well with food. It helps me relax a little. It relieves stress. Anxiety. Worry. It makes socializing easier. It allows me to escape for a while.
Sigh. All still there. In fact, over the past 12 months a few new reasons were added to the list.
But none of those reasons seem to make sense any more. Something happened in my head over the past year and those reasons no longer make sense.
It was as if I had been spinning numbers on a bike lock trying to find the right combination, and I finally heard the click. I cracked the code. Things lined up.
Completely sober, my actions were finally lining up with my intentions.
My intention is mindful, compassionate, healthy living. My path was riddled with challenges. I was spinning my wheels.
We all do it. We get stuck spinning the numbers, trying to find the right combination. We change one number at a time. One action at a time. Forgetting about our underlying intentions.
So I started to question everything. I looked at everything and asked WHY?
We can all ask ourselves questions like these.
I want to be healthy, why am I eating so much processed food?
I profess inner beauty, why am I dying my grays and buying beauty products?
I care about the planet, why do I drink out of plastic bottles?
I want all beings to be happy and free, why do I eat meat?
I want a world of peace and compassion, why do I stir up arguments on social media?
I seek mindfulness through yoga and meditation, why do I get buzzed every Saturday night?
Things don’t line up when our intentions and our actions don’t line up. This type of cognitive dissonance can eat away at us. Bit by bit. It manifests in so many ways. In stress. Anxiety. Worry. Illness. Depression. Guilt. Shame. It manifests as all of the things that lead us right back to the bad behavior.
It’s a vicious cycle. Spinning numbers. Trying to find the right combination.
Lining up with your own intentions is the key. Are you out of line?
What are your intentions?
(Tomorrow I’m giving up caffeine. For 28 days. To see what clicks.)